The average American manages to tuck into 64 pounds of beef a year, which is why the debate over beef quality is so important. There’s still plenty of heat on the pros and cons of a high protein diet such as the Paleo diet, and whether we should continue to consume animal proteins to meet our dietary requirements, even when there are perfect nutritional non-animal proteins such as beans, whole grains, nuts, soy and even dairy products.

But perhaps the most confusion reigns over the subject of grass-fed versus grain-fed beef. We decided to simplify it for you with four basic points to explain the difference:

  1. Livestock that are raised on pastures and are free to roam as they want, feed when they’re hungry, and dine only on natural grass.
  2. The ones that live in stalls have nothing to do but eat, are fed mostly GMO grain, and get little to no exercise.
  3. As a result, the meat you get from grass-fed cattle is leaner and juicier with a high moisture content. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6 and beta-carotene. With as little as 140 calories per serving, grass-fed beef even boasts lower levels of cholesterol.
  4. The meat that you get from cows raised on a diet of grain is rather greasy in comparison, and tougher. It has a high fat content and also, understandably, higher levels of cholesterol.

Although purists will swear by fatty, marbled cuts of meats that mostly come from grain-fed animals, the healthier option is pretty obvious.

Head to our Food section for healthy recipes and the latest food trends.
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Read More:
Smart Foods: The Five Cuts Of Beef That Will Help You Lose Weight
Summer Food Safety: How To Keep Your Raw Meat Fresh & Clean

Simona is a journalist who has worked with several leading publications in India over the last 17 years, writing on lifestyle topics and the arts, besides interviewing celebrities. She made the switch to public relations and headed the division as PR Manager at ITC Hotels’ flagship property, the ITC Grand Chola, but has since returned to her first love, journalism. Now she writes on food, which she is sincerely passionate about and wellness, which she finds fascinating and full of surprises. When she isn’t writing, she is busy playing the role of co-founder and communications director of The Bicycle Project, a six-year-old charity initiative that empowers tribal children in rural areas, while addressing the issue of urban waste.